The Chainlink

Broadway & Balmoral Crosswalk

Even a woman with a baby stroller won't convince drivers to obey the law and stop for pedestrians at this notoriously dangerous crosswalk. Broadway and Balmoral. Photo by Kevin Zolkiewicz. 

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City today announced that 2011 has been the city's year with the fewest traffic fatalities since 1910. 

Wow - that's awesome. 

They had 237 traffic fatalities in 2011, and 270 in 2010. In 2010, Chicago had 315 traffic fatalities. They had 3 child pedestrian fatalities in 2011. In 2010, Chicago had 25 fatalities for people 18 and younger. 

From their press release:

Traffic calming projects, street redesigns, and safety upgrades installed by the Department of Transportation during the past decade have resulted in improved safety throughout the five boroughs. In the last four years alone, the department has implemented safety improvement projects along 78 corridors and at 72 intersections. In 2011, the department made safety upgrades to 60 miles of streets, including more than 20 miles of street redesigns and implemented the city’s first Neighborhood Slow Zone in the Bronx, creating the first 20 miles per hour speed limit. Additionally, the department introduced new electronic speed boards in all five boroughs that display the speed of passing motorists and expects to bring additional Neighborhood Slow Zones online.

The City has built a single "home zone" (which didn't come with speed limit changes), bumpouts scattered around town, and experimented with colored pavement markings at three intersections, and is working to put Lawrence Avenue on a diet, there's no coordinated effort like a Vision Zero campaign or PlaNYC 2030. The Pedestrian Safety Campaign's strategy roadmap hasn't been revealed, and we're waiting for the Chicago Fast Forward Agenda in spring 2012. Nothing to link the Bike 2015 Plan with the Chicago Climate Action Plan or the Pedestrian Plan. And little leadership in City Council to deal with these things comprehensively (a new law banning cellphones while biking but not increasing bike lane parking enforcement isn't helpful). 

There's CMAP's GOTO2040 plan, but have any Alderman heard of or read it?

/endrant?

Well, that's the introduction to my article on Grid Chicago: Safer roadway designs: How Danes make right turns

Shouldn't Chicago be trying out new stuff, too?

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I commuted by bike on Clark in A'ville during the bumping test. It was a very bad idea as implemented there. I'm glad they tested it before doing a hard install. As someone said above, the buses stopped in the driving lane and everyone had to stop behind them and wait, including cyclists. It did slow traffic down, but there was no way a car could give me three feet of clearance at the intersections whereas now we can both be safely next to each other. I started riding the wrong way down glenwood in order to avoid Clark during the experiment. Also, I have bumpouts near my home on the 1500 block of elmdale, the snow plows destroy them, pot holes form near them and there is never money set aside for maintaining them. I am not a fan of bumpouts or traffic circles. Also, installing them often results in a reduction of street parking. While some may applaud that, if metered spaces are removed, under the parking meter deal, new meters will need to be installed where none currently exist or the city will have to pay for lost revenue.

New York City just installed a bumpout in the form of on-street bike parking. The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce has expressed interest (again, after expressing interest years ago and getting shot down by CDOT) in doing on-street bike parking. Parking spaces were removed, effectively "daylighting the intersection" (making people on the sidewalk visible to people driving in cars). 

Here's a Streetfilms video describing that



Sol said:

I commuted by bike on Clark in A'ville during the bumping test. It was a very bad idea as implemented there. I'm glad they tested it before doing a hard install. As someone said above, the buses stopped in the driving lane and everyone had to stop behind them and wait, including cyclists. It did slow traffic down, but there was no way a car could give me three feet of clearance at the intersections whereas now we can both be safely next to each other. I started riding the wrong way down glenwood in order to avoid Clark during the experiment. Also, I have bumpouts near my home on the 1500 block of elmdale, the snow plows destroy them, pot holes form near them and there is never money set aside for maintaining them. I am not a fan of bumpouts or traffic circles. Also, installing them often results in a reduction of street parking. While some may applaud that, if metered spaces are removed, under the parking meter deal, new meters will need to be installed where none currently exist or the city will have to pay for lost revenue.

There's so much unmet demand for bike parking in Andersonville that I'm sure lots of folks would love to see a bike corral or two there.  I think it would be great for the businesses there, because car parking is so limited.


Steven Vance said:

New York City just installed a bumpout in the form of on-street bike parking. The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce has expressed interest (again, after expressing interest years ago and getting shot down by CDOT) in doing on-street bike parking. Parking spaces were removed, effectively "daylighting the intersection" (making people on the sidewalk visible to people driving in cars). 

Here's a Streetfilms video describing that




 
I'm not opposed to removing car parking to add bike parking, but Chicago will be limited or have to pay up to do that more than other cities for quite a while due to the parking meter deal.

The bike corral plan for Andersonville I saw was to install it at the T-intersection at Clark and Farragut where there currently is no parking anyway.  So no parking spaces or bus stops would be lost.

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